Male Priests: Why aren’t we all special?

Welcome back to Talking Thursdays – the posts where I write about why the heck Catholics do the things we do!

This week the topic is: Women priests


You know how when Pope Francis was newer people were expecting him to approve abortion, gay marriage, birth control, aaaaand the all male priesthood? Huh. Funny thing: none of that happened.

I know. SHOCKER.

It’s not anything new that we hear: the Catholic Church hates and oppresses women because she doesn’t allow them to be priests. And to that I would respond:

Clearly an oppressed woman (because she couldn’t be a priest)
Young, pro-life, and . . . oppressed (because she can’t be a priest)

“Okay, cut it out, Laura.” you say “Those women just accepted the fact that being a Catholic woman means you’re lame and oppressed, so they don’t count.”


Let’s move on to why are there only male Catholic priests?

In short, we take it back to the Bible when Jesus gave us the priesthood. He told his apostles:

“Do this in memory of me”

So, they celebrated the Mass in memory of him. Then they passed on this special designation to other men all the way until today when we see the order of the priesthood established as it is. Now men can go through education at a seminary and eventually be ordained a priest after taking vows.

We can look at this further by seeing that “All men who, through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, have become priests (or bishops) participate in Christ’s priesthood. And they participate in it in a very special way: They act in persona Christi Capitis, in the person of Christ, the Head of His Body, the Church.”

Article 1577 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that:

“Only a baptized man validly receives sacred ordination. The Lord Jesus chose men to form the college of the twelve apostles, and the apostles did the same when they chose collaborators to succeed them in their ministry. The college of bishops, with whom the priests are united in the priesthood, makes the college of the twelve an ever-present and ever-active reality until Christ’s return. The Church recognizes herself to be bound by this choice made by the Lord himself. For this reason the ordination of women is not possible.”

So, that’s pretty much it. We don’t prohibit women from being priests because we hate women or want to hold women back. We’re exercising a deep trust in the choice Jesus himself made.

I could go on and on about gender roles and where women stand in the church, but I’ll save that for another post 😉 For now, may I suggest breaking open your own copy of the Catechism?Start discovering Catholicism like a boss and see what the Catholic Church really says.

Resources & Links for more reading:

Catechism of the Catholic Church (Hardcover)

Catechism of the Catholic Church (Paperback)

Why not women priests? The papal theologian explains

Renewal: How a New Generation of Faithful Priests and Bishops Is Revitalizing the Catholic Church

The Priest Is Not His Own

Happy learning! Feel free to contact me (or comment below) with questions I can research and put into a future post.

To Life,





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We Bow Down

Welcome back to the “why do they do that?” series (known as Talking Thursdays) where I attempt to explain why the heck Catholics do some of the things we do. I do the research. You start the talking! Last week we talked about salvation through grace (not faith alone) and this week the topic is:


So, what is this whole thing with adoration? Let’s start off with what it is: adoration is when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and people come and “adore” Jesus in the real presence of the Holy Eucharist. Of course, this might not make sense to people who don’t believe in the real presence. But Jesus told us “this is my body . . . do this in memory of me” and we Catholics take that literally when we say that the Eucharist becomes Jesus’ body during the consecration of each Mass.

Adoration is when we go and just be with Jesus.

At college many girls will say they’re going on a date with Jesus. And guys will say it’s their “bro time”.

You know, you can sing and preach all you want, but those activities are not Jesus himself. You sing to Jesus or about him. You preach about him. But there is nothing in the world like adoration where you are actually with Jesus. How insane is that?!?! It makes me realize how much more we Catholics should take advantage of this opportunity. After all, there’s this saying:

Not to mention that the Eucharist is a constant reminder of Jesus’ love for us:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church says in paragraph 2268 that “Adoration is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his Creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil. Adoration is homage of the spirit to the “King of Glory,” respectful silence in the presence of the “ever greater” God.”

So what do you do in adoration?

  • Pray (I know, shocker)
  • Stare at Jesus and be amazed at his awesomeness
  • Look at him on the alter under the cross and give thanks
  • Talk with him: unload whatever is going on in your life, he can take it
  • Read the Bible or other spiritual writings

Being in adoration is the most peaceful and content I have ever felt. It’s nice at school because we have a perpetual adoration chapel where Jesus is exposed 24/7 and adoration in one of the student chapels during the week.You know how it doesn’t matter what you do with your friends and the people you love, as long as you are together? That’s kind of like adoration. Just hanging out with Jesus.

Give it a try, won’t you?

Further Reading:

What Catholic Girls Are Like in the Chapel (Funny One!)

No Wonder They Call It the Real Presence: Lives Changed by Christ In Eucharistic Adoration

Eucharistic Adoration: Drawing Closer to Jesus By: Kathleen M. Carroll

A Prayer Book for Eucharistic Adoration

Praying In The Presence Of Our Lord: Prayers For Eucharistic Adoration

Eucharistic Adoration: Reflections in the Franciscan Tradition


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Oh you can’t get to heaven on roller blades

Drumroll please! Introducing . . .

Talking Thursdays

On these days  I will write about faith or life topics and you’ll have the opportunity to “talk” with me (and fellow readers) about them. Have a burning question about Catholicism? Question about some life issue? Submit it! Since I’m not an expert, I will do the research and present to you an explanation of why we do what we do or believe. Quotes, Bible verses, and references are included. For life issues it will focus more on science in most situations.

I’ve been doing a lot of faith-related reading recently, and am excited to share with you! Much of what I’ve read has been Protestant to Catholic conversion stories which are intriguing. It’s neat to see what the deciding factors were, which I’ll be using here. Please feel free to share these posts and get a conversation going!

This week’s topic:

How do Catholics believe people can get to heaven?

Good works, right?

Okay, calm down a second. If you’re Catholic, you might be thinking: Girl, stop misrepresenting us! You know it’s more than that! And if you’re not? Perhaps you thought “Well, duh. Why are you writing a whole thing on this?”.

Bear with me here, folks.

Until I started reading conversion stories, I didn’t realize that this is so important it’s one of two issues most Protestant people have with Catholicism. I didn’t know that it is a factor why many people are repulsed by Catholicism. This particular issue is such a big deal that Martin Luther said something along the lines of: the Church stands or falls on this one doctrine.

My understanding is that the two basic Protestant doctrines are Sola Scriptura (the Bible as their only authority) and Sola Fide (justification by faith alone). Sola Fide says that to get to heaven you have to believe in Jesus. Boom bam, baby! If that were the case, wouldn’t pretty much everyone go to heaven? According to this you could believe in God, do horrendous things . . . and go to heaven. Right?

Many aspects of religion require faith. You have to just trust sometimes and accept that you cannot fully understand it. I can see where people are temped to do that in this case. After all, take a look at what the Bible says:

“A worker’s wage is credited not as a gift, but as something due. But when one does not work, yet believes in the one who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.” Rom. 4:4-5

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you and your household will be saved” Acts 16:31

So what does the Catholic Church teach?

First off, what is “justification”? It means to be righteous or made right in the eyes of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

“Justification detaches man from sin which contradicts the love of God, and purifies his heart of sin. Justification follows upon God’s merciful initiative of offering forgiveness. It reconciles man with God. It frees from the enslavement to sin, and it heals.” (1990)

It “has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men. Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy. Its purpose is the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life” (1992)

“Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God” (1996)


Basically, Catholics say that justification is deification – when we become “like God” when our sins are wiped away at the moment of baptism. At that moment we become open and able to receiving his graces, some of which are the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. Each is an integral part of being “saved”: faith helps us to accept the grace, hope gives us the reason for it in the first place, and charity helps us to live a good life hereafter. It’s not a one time deal when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior that saves you. It’s a continuous cycle.

I was saved.

I am being saved.

And I hope to be saved when the last day comes.

See Bible quotes for that here.

I could go on and on about who Catholics believe can get to heaven, but I’ll save that for another topic 🙂

That’s what we believe and why: faith, hope and charity all at once – not just faith. This is just scratching the surface, though, so do more reading! 

What are your thoughts?

Here are suggestions for further reading (though since I haven’t read them all myself I cannot completely attest to their awesomeness):

Justification Sola Fide: Catholic After All? by Christopher Malloy

Not by Faith Alone: A Biblical Study of the Catholic Doctrine of Justification

The Catholic Doctrine On Justification Explained And Vindicated

Handbook of Catholic Apologetics: Reasoned Answers to Questions of Faith

What Catholics Really Believe: Answers to Common Misconceptions About the Faith



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*Some of the above links are affiliate links. This means if you click on them and make a purchase I would receive a small portion of your purchase amount (at no cost to you). Thank you!